Is this the battery we've been waiting for?

Published: 22 December 2017

New battery tech could see 370 miles on one charge

Research done at the University of Waterloo, Canada, could lead to the development of new batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles. The research has found that altering the material the negative electrodes are made from can give huge battery-capacity increases. This will triple the energy density, which could give, say, a Zero S a realistic 372-mile range. Even with such a huge increase, the tech change seems rather simple.

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The new batteries use lithium electrodes, but they are very volatile – which can result in fires and explosions. The volatility means they’re also susceptible to corrosion and can’t handle repeated charge cycles. However, the researchers discovered that by adding sulphur and phosphorus to the batteries’ electrolyte liquid, a protective barrier forms that prevents both issues. It’s hoped this new research can soon be brought to production technology, as current attempts to make electric vehicles more usable haven’t been hugely successful.

Many makers have been chasing quick charging as the solution to the limited range of current motorcycles, yet this comes with its own set of problems. Quick charging develops considerable heat that requires extra cooling kit, which in turn increases the bike’s weight. The new battery tech should help avoid this problem.

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